Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dreamseeker by C. S. Friedman + a Giveaway

Hello again, readers! As promised, I have a follow up review for C. S. Friedman's second Dreamwalker title for you today. If you read yesterday's review you'll know that I wasn't totally sold on the trilogy yet but that I was looking forward to starting book two to see where it would take us. And it was definitely worth it!

It's been just two weeks since Jesse, Devon, and Tommy returned from Terra Prime. In that time, Jesse has tried to maintain a sense of normalcy in spite of everything that's occurred so far. Because their home was destroyed and their mother seriously injured, Jesse and her family are now living with distant relatives kind enough to take them in despite the fact that they've never met before. And that's the least of Jesse's problems. She, Tommy, and Devon are still (obviously) covering up the fact that they traveled to a parallel world through a gate maintained by alien-like beings to save her kidnapped brother from a Guild ruled by the undead. And after they destroyed the gate, undoubtedly pissing off the Greys and the Shadows, they lost Rita in the space between the worlds. 

Rita's surprise return and Jesse's continued work at learning more about her Gift leads the teens to a conclusion: Jesse must return to Terra Prime. She needs to know more about her ability and the dreamworld she's been exploring and she's convinced that someone in one of the Guilds might be able to heal her mother. But her decision means relying on a very untrustworthy ally whose own motivations are still unknown. She'll also have to travel under the radar if she is to evade the Shadows and their hunters.

An author basically has two options when presenting a unique world and idea for a series: they can either opt for a dreaded info dump, which no one wants, or throw the reader into the deep end. The latter is the choice Friedman made with Dreamwalker but with one bit of an exception: Jesse knew nothing about the world either, so the reader was initiated into the world alongside her. And while it was confusing to start, I did note that the book picked up significantly once Jesse and her friends headed off on their quest. It made it a middle of the road read for me as a result, not really unusual or series starters sometimes, though. There's just so much to ease into and so many questions to answer. And, if an author is good, they've got a plan and an outline for dealing with those questions throughout their series.

Note that it is very necessary to start with Dreamwalker - you won't have a clue what's going on in Dreamseeker otherwise!

Fortunately, now that the world has been established, the Guilds, etc introduced, and the journey begun, it's a LOT easier to enjoy this story! In fact, I'm kind of dying to see what will come next in book three!

We learned a LOT in this second installment. We got to see more of the landscape of the dreamworld, we got to explore Jesse's Gift along with her, and we found out some key information about a few of Jesse's acquaintances as well. Yes there are still questions and there's still plenty of room for character development, but now the plan is at least starting to reveal itself.

Ooh!

Seriously, though, I am very much looking forward to book three. Where the first book and the promise of parallel worlds intrigued me, Dreamseeker cemented this trilogy as one that I'm truly invested in now.

Rating: 4/5

And I get to share it with you, readers! Thanks to the publisher I get to give away a copy of Dreamwalker! If you like complex worlds, parallel dimensions, etc you do want to give this series a try. And while it is technically teen, it's definitely appealing for adult readers! If all of that's sold you on the series and you want to get your name in the running, fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, November 16. Giveaway open US only and no PO boxes please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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